A look behind a changing mind

Successfully changing someone’s mind is incredibly challenging, especially because in some cases providing evidence that contradicts someone’s firmly-held beliefs may actually strengthen their confidence in their original stance. Picture yourself, for instance, convincing someone who is pro-life to be pro-choice, or vice versa. Challenging, but not impossible. Challenge Accepted GIF from Barney GIFs While we can attribute holding onto beliefs (even if they are false or outdated) to obstinance, the implications are slightly different for…

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The Case For Reality: Because Apparently Someone Needs to Make One

This morning, I read an article on consciousness and physics (“The Case Against Reality” in The Atlantic). The beginning of the article starts off with a broad statement: That our senses aren’t completely accurate; that the world isn’t perfectly represented them. It’s a relative statement so it’s not worth disagreeing with. That is, given the scope of our space telescopes and quantum detectors — yeah, we do a crappy job of perceiving. But, compared to…

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Highlights of “Building Minds”

  For those who missed “Building Minds: Microchips & Molecules”, here is a taste

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“Building Minds: Microchips & Molecules” Symposium – May 18, 2015

Psychology in Action is proud to announce the fourth annual Psychology Interdisciplinary Events symposium, Monday, May 18th, 2015, from 4 to 6pm in UCLA’s CNSI Auditorium. The discussion will focus on various attempts to create artificial minds and what they tell us about our own minds. The event is completely FREE and open to the general public! We hope to see you there! Featuring – James K. Gimzewski, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, UCLA – Timothy…

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Psychology in Action’s Women in Brain Sciences and Technology Event

Psychology in Action’s Outreach Program co-hosted a very successful awareness event on UCLA campus last quarter with UCLA’s Cognitive Science Student Association (CSSA). Geared towards inspiring and educating undergraduate women who are looking to pursue degrees in STEM-related fields, the Women in Brain Science and Technology Event saw over 45 undergraduate attendees. In a field predominantly populated by males, the goal of the event was to showcase impressive female researchers in brain science and technology so…

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The Neuroscience of Meditation

In 1992, the Dalai Lama invited an up-and-coming neuroscientist, Richie Davidson, out to Dharamsala, India to discuss the future of neuroscience research. Why, wondered the Dalai Lama, don’t scientists devote more effort to the study of positives like happiness or compassion? Since that pivotal conversation the field has accepted the Dalai Lama’s challenge, in particular linking positive human states with Eastern philosophical ideas and practices and exploring what those practices look like in the brain.…

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Outreach Event: Brain Booths!

Psychology in Action’s Outreach Initiative teamed up with Interaxon, an interdepartmental undergraduate neuroscience educational outreach group at UCLA, to participate in two events with the Los Angeles community. To learn about future Interaxon events, please visit their web calendar. On Saturday, October 19th, 2013, Psychology in Action and Interaxon members hosted a “Brain Booth” at STEAM Nation in Culver City. 1,600 school children and more than 200 educators participated to celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math education. Hosted by STAR Education, STEAM…

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“Mental Notes: Music, Cognition, & the Brain” Symposium – May 23, 5pm

Psychology in Action is proud to announce the second annual Psychology Interdisciplinary Events symposium, Thursday, May 23rd, 2013, from 5 to 7pm in UCLA’s CNSI Auditorium.  The discussion will focus on the intersection of music, psychology, and neuroscience.  The event is completely FREE and open to the general public!  We hope to see you there! Featuring – Dr. Mark Tramo, UC Los Angeles – Dr. Sarah Creel, UC San Diego – Dr. Petr Janata, UC Davis – Dr.…

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Mind-reading, lie-detection and telekinesis with fMRI and EEG – Science fact and fiction

In the last few years, fMRI and EEG have made it into the popular press as tools for reading minds (here, here, here, here and here for a sample), lie-detection (here, here and here), and telekinesis – controlling/ moving objects with our thoughts – (here, here, here, and here). I think there was even a recent episode of House where the doctors were able to display the dreams of someone in a brain scanner. While…

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